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Wagon identification in Cork

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This is what they appeared like when originally put into traffic. If I recall correctly this was posted by @Mayner who makes the point that the sides in particular were haphazardly maintained as long as they held the fertilizer pallets in position. We discussed this on one of the fertilizer threads a couple of years ago. 



Edited by DiveController
More accurate info posted by Mayner below
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The Back to Back fertiliser "wagons" were de-mountable containers introduced in the late 1960s early 70s that were mounted on existing flat wagons as opposed to special purpose fertiliser wagons.  The Back to Backs appear to have been used to transport fertiliser in both fixed formation (20 wagon) Unit Trains and individual wagons loads and reached destinations that were closed under Railplan 80 such as Newcastle West & Listowel.

25970 was part of the 25436-25982 series of 20T flat wagons introduced in 1966. The wagons were basically introduced on spec to carry demountable "Lancashire Flats" and containers with a variety of load securing gear as the ISO cuplock was not finalised at the time of their introduction, cuplocks were retrofitted to the wagons to carry ISO containers and the "Back to Back" containers in the late 1960s.

Before the introduction of ISO containers in the late 1960s lot of Irish sea unit load traffic was transported door-to door by road on de-mountable "Lancashire Flats" or open containers, during the late 1960s CIE applied the same principal developing its own de-mountable flats to palletise keg and container traffic. The Back to Backs and original keg flats appear to have been a short term solution before introducing high capacity bogie wagons for these traffics. 

The end bulkheads on the Back to Back containers were used to secure the load in transit with one fixed and on adjustable bulkhead. The wagons were loaded/unloaded by removing the sides by lifting with a forklift. The flat in the photo has metal lifting hoops which may not have stood up to use in service, the random looking strips of board fixed to the sides in the Cork City railway photos appear to be to assist the fork lift driver unloading, significantly there is no damage visible to the ply panels panels from rough handling in either photo.

Edited by Mayner
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